Posts Tagged news

Watching TV on two screens

Because one screen is not enough, even more people don’t only watch TV passively anymore. Laptop on the knees, it became normal to surf on the web while watching intermittently TV.

Nowadays, the so-called Second Screen applications appear on our tablets, giving additional informations linked with the TV’s main program. Useful ?

A familiy watching religiously at TV in the 50’s. Past times. Nowadays, one screen is not enough anymore.×375.jpg

What does the Second Screen brings to us viewers ?

The second screen provides additional informations, in link with what you’re watching on your TV. An international example are the 2012 London Olympics, an event during witch several main TVs transmitted content about the results of the athletes during the broadcasting on the Second Screen.

The Guardian Second Screen, on tablet

Second Screen experiences in Switzerland

A swiss example : the RTS “deuxième écran”

In February 2012, the Radio Télévision Suisse launch its own Second Screen system. Up to now, only one program uses the application : the daily evening news “19:30”. During the program, each time a report is broadcasted, complements become available on the application.

Lets have a look at how it works :

From the RTS website mainpage “deuxième écran” section can be found in “Les plus du web”

Or, it’s possible to acess to it directly following this link.

How does the RTS “deuxième écran” looked like for today’s 19:30 ?

Want to know more about Christian Varone topic ? The second screen gives you more elements.

The second screen doesn’t only proposes texts, but also graphics (for the elections periods for example), videos, pictures galleries, and all wich supports the web can provide.

A video made by the RTS about the “deuxième écran” at the moment of it’s launch :

Playing with Second Screen


In December, the RTS will launch it’s new general culture game “Les Imbattables”.

The game itself isn’t very innovative (teams composed by a kid and a senior try to answer questions in a quiz). What’s new is the possibility for the viewer to answer actively to the questions on a tablet, trough the Second Screen. As the question is displayed on the TV screen, it appears also on the tablet with the possibility to answer to it.

RTS future game “Les Imbattables” will use since December 2012 the Second Screen technology.

Usefull, the Second Screen ?

Looking at the swiss example of the 19:30 “Deuxième écran”, it certainly provides some additional informations. The graphics are for example interesting, since they appear quite quickly on TV, sometimes too fast to be analysed properly.

But it appears that most of the content of this RTS Second Screen remains quite light, with just short texts, and the videos simply come from the swiss television website. There are no additional videos coming from youtube or dailymotion, no links : nothing that can really bring the user to new way of knowledge.

The Second Screen is but quite a new born. Some time more should be needed in order to see the concept further developed in the future. The TV broadcasters believe in the future of this technology. As does for example David Wertheimer, president of digital at Fox :

The second screen discussion we’ve been having is just one piece of a strategy that’s all about giving our audiences an opportunity to talk about the shows and share thoughts with the showrunners and the talent. To us, that’s what television in the 21st century is all about.

From :

David Wertheimer, president of digital at Fox, believes in the future of the Second Screen.

And you,

Are you using Second Screen ? Or do you want to stay an oldschool « couch potatoe » ?

Before Second Screen: couch potatoes. What’s the best ?


, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Crowdsourcing: how is this concept applied to journalism?

With the rise of the Web 2.0, more and more people get to express themselves on the Internet: by contributing to a personal blog, answering to a poll on a website or making comments on any event the web is talking about. Today, those contributions can be neatly managed by news organisations to make you participate to their news production. And this is the object of this blog’s entry: crowdsourcing the news.

Jeff Howe

The crowd likes to be involved

Jeff Howe is the man who coined the term “crowdsourcing” in 2006 in an article called “The Rise of crowdsourcing.” At the time he was a contributing editor of the Wired magazine. Now he tends to be perceived as The Crowdsourcing expert. But you may wonder…

What is crowdsourcing?

As Jeff Howe well expressed it, crowdsourcing is a process of involving the public, the crowd, into a task by an open call. And this process if often made through a website. The definition could include many sorts of calls, indeed. To a large extent, crowdsourcing can be applied to solving a scientific problem, as the company InnoCentive started to do in 2001, or as IStockphotos managed in outsourcing the task of photographing an event to a voluntary crowd instead of hiring a professional photographer for instance.

Crowdsourcing takes many forms. But one thing makes it unique: it empowers the crowd. As the crowd represents different brains, different competences, it can be even more creative, efficient, innovative and influent than a single man working in his office on a task he has no grasp into.

How news organisations make the most of it?

In the context of Journalism, you can well imagine that the journalist and the news organisation one can work for were primarily the only gatekeepers of news, and you were waiting for them to be informed. If there was a place for you to communicate with the newspaper, there was the “letters to the editor”, and not many more.

Today news organisations have their websites. Moreover, if you give a closer look to them, you will notice they even make a space for you to act and communicate. Not by solely adding comments. There is more!

In England, the BBC has launched Have your Say ; in the USA, CNN opened iReport. And the Swiss news organisations are not the last: The RTS has Vos infos and The 20minutes has the Lecteur-Reporter’s platform. All fell in the new trend. They all let you the chance to be part of their work, or in other words: now the news need you.

As a million of events happen across the world, reporters and journalists cannot cover them all. This is where the audience is powerful: it can improve their coverage.

When terrorists set off a series of bombs on buses and subways in London, who produced the most riveting images and sound bites? The passengers and their cell phones.” [1] When an accident occur next to your home, or on your way to work, you are the first witness of the event and no professional reporter could catch the same tension you were able to grasp when it happens.

With a single photo, a video, a short message, you can make a newsroom get up. You can even make it change its editorial agenda.



For Bernard Rappaz, Editor in chief at the RTS in Switzerland, crowdsourcing makes a news media quicker than before. Using Twitter, Facebook, and their crowdsourcing tool on their website, the members of the newsroom can compete with the news agencies they are sometimes dependent on. As Mathieu Coutaz confirms himself: it allows the staff to be the first on the scene and to be always closer to the stories that interest the people their work for.

Mathieu Coutaz

Mathieu Coutaz is the content manager for 20minutes online in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. The 20minutes is The daily newspaper distributed in Switzerland and this, for free. Its platform “lecteur-reporteur” has been launched in 2006 and the newspaper rewards any contributions that it eventually publishes on its web. What is most, “50% to 70% of the contributions that are selected go on the print edition” Mathieu Coutaz explains. And he emphasises one fundamental point that cannot be neglected: your photos and stories go through a process of verification before getting anything done. “When verified, the contributions of the audience can influence the editorial agenda on the temporal and hierarchical aspects. If it has to be treated before another news, and if the story is worth being published at the top of our agenda, then of course we do it.”

For the one that may want to ask: But isn’t it citizen journalism? In fact, no it isn’t. Robert Niles states this argument in his “Journalist’s guide to crowdsourcing”:

Crowdsourcing does not ask readers to become anything more than what they’ve always been: eyewitness to their daily lives.

In that sense the news organisations save their first role of gatekeepers: the readers don’t write the stories, they only contribute to it: the final decision of its treatement and broadcast still lies in the professional’s hands.

Crowdsourcing at risks

In an interesting article, Darren Gilbert warns that “crowdsourcing can be as advantageous as it can be dangerous.” Although readers are willing to contribute to the news, some are able to get a journalist on the wrong track. He takes the example of a recent scandal that occurred in the United States: a company named Journatic published news gathered from the public. And there were actually wrong!

In Switzerland, all the news platforms I discovered ask for the name and mail address of the contributors, in order to be able to get back to him/her. A mail address can be fake, indeed, but in any case, Swiss news organsations do the verification before publishing, which can avoid some serious faux pas.

To cope it all, crowdsourcing may well bring the public and the news organisation closer than before. It may establish a new relationship between the public and the news media: a trust that could have been lost. But it still needs to be well used in order not to lose what crowdsourcing is for journalism: a relevant tool to make the crowd part of the work, for a better and substantial result.

I am now turning to you

 Have you ever contributed to the news of your local newspaper?

What do you think of the crowdsourcing concept regarding journalism?


And to go further…

A new trend in crowdsourcing is for journalists to use special crowdsourcing platforms to gather the information they couldn’t find from their places, such as Ushahidi‘s platform, specialised in mapping crowdsourcing information.

The TED talks also got into the crowdsourcing concept, here is a talk held by Paul Lewis about the impact of crowdsourcing the news for investigative journalism.

And to be always up to date with the last seminars about crowdsourcing and journalism, have a look at the European Journalism Center’s website, it’s worth it!

By Céline Bilardo

[1] Howe, J. 2008.  Crowdsourcing: Why the power of the crowd is driving the future of business. 1st ed. USA: Ed.Crown Business. p.212.

, , , , , , , , , , ,


The impact of YouTube on journalism

By Fabien Grenon

Do you know YouTube? Of course, every Internet users over the world know YouTube. It’s the most important website of video sharing.  Consumers may think of YouTube mainly as a place for watching laughing babies, funny cats or music videos. But for some time yet it has become a big news outlet as well, posing new challenges to media organisations. What are these new challenges? What is the real impact of YouTube on journalism? Here I will try to answer these questions. 

Since its inception in 2006, YouTube has become increasingly popular. Today, it’s the third most visited website in the all web after Google and Facebook. The statistics show that YouTube also has become such an extraordinary resource for media organisations and journalists in their everyday work.

YouTube as a new source of information:

There are plenty of definitions of what is a social media. In my opinion, Wikipedia give a good explanation on the question. The online Encylopedia notably says:

a social media is an interactive platform via which individuals and communities create and share user-generated content. 

According to this definition, YouTube is clearly a social media as Facebook or Twitter. As on any social media, anyone can participate. So, you can easily create an account on YouTube to spread videos. I’m on YouTube, Barack Obama is on YouTube, RTSCNN news and ABC news are on YouTube… It’s a major place where citizens, politicians, journalists and specialists can share videos and interact with each other. Therefore, YouTube can represent sometimes a good source of information. Let’s see an example.

  • The example of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami :

There are many examples which made YouTube really important for journalists. But one of the last major examples may be the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011. A lot of videos were made during and after the tragedy. Few hours afterwards, first eyewitness videos appeared on YouTube.  The most popular videos notably came from surveillance cameras or citizens’ mobile phones.

A survey from Pew Research Center launched on the subject shows that 39 % of these videos were from citizen, while 51 % were from news organizations. But some of the news organizations videos appeared to have been originally shot by citizens rather than journalists. Those videos posted on YouTube were used as a main source of information. For example, we notice that’s the case of ABC TV News of March 11, 2011.

It’s not necessary to watch all the video to notice that the most of the sequences of the tragedy were shot by citizens during the natural disaster. ABC news used this video shot by citizens to show what was going on in Japan, because they just didn’t have any other images. Is it the only reason ? Not really : by their authentic and spectacular nature, the videos posted by anonymous on the Internet contributes also to enhance the impact. Journalists and media organisations are clearly taking advantage of citizen content. YouTube is initiating a change in journalism as a source to offer a new kind of visual journalism, as the Pew Research center’s survey revealed it.

Youtube as a new channel of information:

YouTube is such a fantastic tool for journalists or media organizations. With over 800 million unique users of YouTube each month, in 43 countries and in 60 languages, the platform of videos sharing can attract a lot of people, more than any television, radio or newspaper over the world. So media organizations have decided to use YouTube not only as a source but as a channel of information too. Let’s illustrate with examples.

  • The example of RTS

RTS (Swiss Radio Television) has its own channel on YouTube. In this case, the platform of videos sharing represents an opportunity to extend its programs. RTS has realized the power of YouTube to reach more people and to increase its audience. So RTS has integrated YouTube in its own website as an extension to watch more videos.

Then, when you go on the RTS YouTube channel, you can find programs that you missed or top stories. This YouTube channel is also a good opportunity to broadcast radio talk shows which are filmed, like the well-known and humorous ”120 secondes” on Couleur3. RTS realized the importance of multimedia and YouTube is a good place to combine audio and video content.

Therefore, the case of RTS shows that YouTube can be used as an extension to watch more videos or videos that you missed.

  • The example of YouTube Reporter’s Center:

 Citizens are becoming increasingly important in journalism notably thanks to social media as YouTube. Media organizations have realized this change. So a channel was created on YouTube in 2009 to teach citizens how to upload more and better videos. Its name is YouTube Reporter’s Center. The YouTube Reporters’ Center is a resource to help citizen journalists learn more about how to report the news, how to use efficiently their mobile phone, how to look like a real journalist. On the channel, some of the nation’s top journalists and news organizations share on  instructional videos with tips and advice for better reporting.

Therefore, the case of YouTube Reporter’s Center shows that YouTube can be used as a channel to train citizen journalists.

The I Files is a new channel on YouTube produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) and launched on 2nd August 2012. The I Files channel selects and showcases the best investigative videos from around the words. There are a lot of well-known contributors behind like The New York Times, ABC, BBC, Al-Jazeera for instance.  Behind this collaboration, all these media organizations want to show they realized journalism is changing. Nowadays, citizens are becoming increasingly important in investigative journalism. So, they use YouTube which is a major platform for citizen journalism to provide videos in a attempt to bring some much needed attention to the new form of investigative journalism.

Therefore, the case of The I Files show that YouTube can be used to draw attention to the importance of YouTube in journalism today.


Journalism field is changing. All the examples I mentioned show that YouTube is becoming increasingly important in the new form of journalism. And there are still plenty of other examples that I could mention. Journalists and media organizations are trying to adapt to this new journalism. Today, YouTube can be used in different ways : as a new source of information and as a new channel of information. But what tomorrow will bring? YouTube was born 7 years ago, it is a very young platform that can still evolve and offer new resources for journalists and media organizations in the future.

What’s your opinion about the impact of YouTube on journalism? What do you think about the future of YouTube in journalism? I let you leave a comment…

And to see how I worked, how I organized my research, how I checked my sources, I let you go on my own blog => Fabien’s Blog

, , , , , , , , , , ,